There is a term for a person that don't know what to do in his life? Is there an expression also?

For example, a person who complete a degree, and now he's not sure he wants to work at the field he studied at the university, maybe he wants to do a long trip and find himself...

Another example: A person who don't know what to study, and just trying many things until he'll find something that he feels he wants to do in his life.

Thank you.

closed as off-topic by tchrist Jun 24 '17 at 15:49

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    Some people would call it "drifting" as in 'floating aimlessly on the tide', etc but many such people have later found their purpose in life. – English Student Jun 24 '17 at 15:32
  • Indecisive? – marcellothearcane Jun 24 '17 at 15:37
  • But as "a term for a person," @EnglishStudent, that would give us drifter, which does not really hit the mark. – Brian Donovan Jun 24 '17 at 15:41
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    I would offer, as less derogatory than most of what seems forthcoming here, seeker, explorer, or undecided. The first two have quite positive connotations, though those can be reversed by scare quotes or other signs of sarcasm. (Seeker used by itself, with no specifying of what is sought, seems current to me, with rather spiritual overtones, but I am not readily finding support in dictionaries.) Undecided is often used as a (count) noun for an undergraduate student who has not yet selected a major; some people, admittedly, sneer at such students, but plenty of us do not in the least. – Brian Donovan Jun 24 '17 at 16:38
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    Undecided as suggested by @Brian Donovan would be the most accurate and value-neutral term to suit your case. – English Student Jun 24 '17 at 16:51


Some people would call it drifting as in 'floating aimlessly on the tide', etc.

Example of usage:

My son is 27 and I am worried about him. He is highly intelligent but since dropping out of university he has not had any settled periods of employment and appears to be drifting with no real sense of what to do with his life. (I have emphasised the word referred to in this answer.)

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/jun/12/my-son-is-drifting-through-life

However, in the experience of not only myself (regarding people I know) but also history, many such people have later found their purpose in life.


The person is


Having no knowledge, understanding, or ability.


The word is applied to such people as depicted in your examples. The person has no "no knowledge, understanding, or ability" to direct his own life or come up with a plan for his life.

Although neither the dictionary nor real life examples indicate that this word is necessarily derogatory, it certainly fits the scenarios you've given.

You can also say that he

doesn't have a clue

as to what to do (with his life). This means he has no idea (OED).

  • I disagree - clueless seems pejorative of the said person. They might be a perfectly intelligent person who hasn't yet decided a career path, for example. Neither intelligence, understanding nor ability are measures of decisiveness. – marcellothearcane Jun 24 '17 at 15:36
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    This answer seems rather to express contempt for such persons (which they may well not deserve) than to offer an adequately specific term for them, one that English speakers would naturally and consistently interpret as implying the specific characteristics OP mentions. – Brian Donovan Jun 24 '17 at 15:39
  • @marcel et al. neither the dictionary nor real life examples indicate that the word is necessarily pejorative. Additionally, while not asking for a neutral term, the OP offers two scenarios in which the word is highly appropriate. – AmE speaker Jun 24 '17 at 15:42
  • In defense of the word option provided by @Clare, 'clueless' simply means 'having no idea' and OP did give the description "a person that don't know what to do in his life" which could itself possibly be interpreted to carry a less-than-positive value judgment. – English Student Jun 24 '17 at 15:54
  • Sorry, not having a go, it's just my opinion :) A quick search of clueless negative showed up some fairly scathing news articles! Admittedly the OP isn't overly clear as to the context... – marcellothearcane Jun 24 '17 at 19:16

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